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Patrick Makau, 26 years old and from Kenya won the Berlin Marathon last week with an astonishing time of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds, thus setting a new world record previously held by Haile Gebrselassie since 2008 and obtained in that same city.
Gebrselassie is always a potential winner since he has won Berlin´s Marathon four times consecutively in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, but this time he had to pull out during kilometer 35 which was almost at the end of the race, owing to exercise-induced asthma problems when he was running within the leading group.
Makau has had his own hardships in the past as well; he was the winner at the previous year race with the eleventh best time in history despite the fact that every day the participants had downpour and weather conditions were not the best. This year the leading group ran half the race under the time that the world record was previously settled and metrological conditions were favorable.
All of the signs were good for a new record. Once the halfway mark has been reached, the competition always becomes more demanding. Exhaustion has settled over all of the runners and just a few can keep the pace. This time only Makau and Gebrselassie were able to make it through and run a two-man race almost the whole time.
They were both within a new world record speed but after ten kilometers Gebrselassie started to suffer from physical pain, which caused him to follow behind Makau, who reached the finishing line of Brandenburg alone. The Berlin Marathon has been a saucepan for cooking continuous world records since out of the top ten running records, five men and two women had broken a previous record in the Berlin Marathon in the last decade.
This has created the expectancy for a new record. This expectation is not out of the question when one of these fast Kenyan or Ethiopian runners manage to continuously break records. But it seems they only receive the recognition they deserve after an epic like the record broken this year.
This year Gebrselassie will be awarded with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports known as the second most important award after the Nobel Peace Prize. This acknowledgement has come after his 2 Olympic gold medals and his 4 victories in the World Championships in Athletics.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/memarte/